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Blog Archive

 

Planetary Society Weekly Hangout: Being WISE about asteroids, comets, and brown dwarfs with Amy Mainzer

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/03/14 02:00 CDT

This week I'll be talking with NEOWISE principal investigator Amy Mainzer about moving objects that the WISE mission has spotted both inside and outside our solar system.

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Vermin of the Sky
The Society's Long History with Asteroids

Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2013/02/19 12:05 CST | 3 comments

Executive Director Emeritus Louis Friedman writes about Asteroid programs of The Planetary Society.

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Observing 2012 DA14

Posted by Edward Gomez on 2013/02/18 05:14 CST | 4 comments

Mostly the Universe stays unchanged for hundreds, thousands or even millions of years. There are some cases however when some things change really rapidly. Recently I observed one of these rapidly changing, transient phenomena, as asteroid called 2012 DA14. I work for Las Cumbres Observatory and we have been trying to observe this asteroid since 5 February.

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What We Know About the Russian Meteor Event [UPDATED]
We have the technology to provide warning about these potential disasters

Posted by Heidi Hammel on 2013/02/15 02:26 CST | 22 comments

Preliminary estimates show that the meteoroid was 15 meters wide and weighed roughly 8000 tons. The resulting airburst would have the equivalent yield of about a 1/2 megaton explosion.

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BREAKING: Meteor fall causes damage in Russia [UPDATED]

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/15 01:44 CST | 13 comments

A large meteor streaked through the skies above Russia on the morning of Feb 15th, causing a deafening sonic boom that shattered windows and injured hundreds.

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DPS 2012: Future impact risks

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/10/24 01:14 CDT | 7 comments

Continuing my writeup of notes from last week's Division for Planetary Sciences meeting: presentations on the risks of future asteroid impacts. How much risk do we face, and what are the appropriate actions to take in the face of that risk?

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Zapping Rocks with Lasers to Save the World

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2012/06/25 05:59 CDT | 9 comments

The Planetary Society Laser Bees project in Scotland is studying in the lab a potential new technique for deflecting dangerous asteroids: laser ablation.

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Hunting Asteroids from a Field in Kansas

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2012/06/15 06:33 CDT

TPS Shoemaker NEO Grant Winner Gary Hug hunts near Earth objects from his back yard in Kansas. NPR's Morning Edition picked up on this fascinating story.

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More Evidence for Impact Origin for Colombia’s Vichada Structure

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2012/05/08 03:43 CDT

Evidence continues to pile up that the Rio Vichada structure in Colombia is indeed the largest impact structure in South America.

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La Sagra Observatory discovers very near-Earth asteroid 2012 DA14

Posted by Jaime Nomen on 2012/03/27 05:20 CDT | 3 comments

With a new CCD camera configured to shoot rapid, short exposures bought with a Planetary Society Shoemaker NEO Grant we caught near-Earth asteroid 2012 DA14.

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New "Snapshot From Space": Defending Our Planet

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2012/03/06 10:18 CST

A new installment of our "Snapshots" video series examines the threat posed by asteroids on collision courses with our home planet. Emily Lakdawalla explains why it's so important to find, understand and learn to deflect these potential civilization enders.

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Day 2: Planetary Defense conference in Bucharest, Romania

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2011/05/10 05:59 CDT

One nice thing about the Planetary Defense conference is that I not only get to talk with the NEO community of experts all in one place and hear their new science, but I also get updates on projects the Planetary Society has funded.

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A rare direct hit from a meteorite

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/05/09 12:21 CDT

Meteorites hit Earth all the time, but they almost never score direct hits on human-built structures (or humans, for that matter). Once in a while, though, direct hits do happen, and it looks like this recent event in Poland was the real thing.

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Close approach to Earth turns Apollo into Aten

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/02/08 12:49 CST

Last week we got buzzed by a very small asteroid, something that happens fairly often. But there were several details that made the close approach of asteroid 2011 CQ1 worthy of note.

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Planetary Society Researcher Max Rocca Discovers Largest Impact Crater in South America

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2010/02/13 12:00 CST

It was January of 2004 when the elegant curve of the Vichada first caught the attention of geologist Max Rocca of Buenos Aires. Could the course of the river have been shaped by the circular outlines of an impact crater? Rocca decided to find out.

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2010 AL30: Watch out for low-flying asteroids

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/01/12 11:52 CST

In less than 24 hours, a newly discovered asteroid known as 2010 AL30 will be zipping past Earth at an altitude of approximately a third the Earth-Moon distance. There's no chance it'll hit us, but it's generating a lot of excitement in the community of amateur and professional near-Earth asteroid observers.

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Triple asteroid 1994 CC rotation animation

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/08/06 10:39 CDT

From the "just plain cool" department. I love animations of planetary images and I love radar images of asteroids -- so this animation is doubly cool.

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Astronomers Revise Torino Scale Asteroid Advisory System

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2005/04/20 03:25 CDT

Astronomers have revised the Torino scale, the color-coded advisory system to assess the threat of asteroids and other near-Earth objects (NEOs) to make it easier for the public to understand.

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Close Your Left Eye, Then Your Right: Simultaneous Observations of Asteroid 4179 Toutatis from Two Chilean Telescopes Demonstrate Parallax

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2004/09/29 12:00 CDT

This morning, asteroid 4179 Toutatis was so close to Earth that simultaneous observations from two telescopes in the same country could show parallax that is obvious even to the least experienced observer. The two telescopes belong to The European Southern Observatory and are located at La Silla and Paranal in Chile

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